Battle Cry of Freedom Epub ´ Battle Cry ePUB ã

Battle Cry of Freedom Epub ´ Battle Cry  ePUB ã Filled with fresh interpretations and information, puncturing old myths and challenging new ones, Battle Cry of Freedom will unquestionably become the standard one volume history of the Civil War James McPherson s fast paced narrative fully integrates the political, social, and military events that crowded the two decades from the outbreak of one war in Mexico to the ending of another at Appomattox Packed with drama and analytical insight, the book vividly recounts the momentous episodes that preceded the Civil War the Dred Scott decision, the Lincoln Douglas debates, John Brown s raid on Harper s Ferry and then moves into a masterful chronicle of the war itself the battles, the strategic maneuvering on both sides, the politics, and the personalities Particularly notable are McPherson s new views on such matters as the slavery expansion issue in the s, the origins of the Republican Party, the causes of secession, internal dissent and anti war opposition in the North and the South, and the reasons for the Union s victory The book s title refers to the sentiments that informed both the Northern and Southern views of the conflict the South seceded in the name of that freedom of self determination and self government for which their fathers had fought in , while the North stood fast in defense of the Union founded by those fathers as the bulwark of American liberty Eventually, the North had to grapple with the underlying cause of the war slavery and adopt a policy of emancipation as a second war aim This new birth of freedom, as Lincoln called it, constitutes the proudest legacy of America s bloodiest conflict This authoritative volume makes sense of that vast and confusing second American Revolution we call the Civil War, a war that transformed a nation and expanded our heritage of liberty Widely acclaimed as the best single volume history of the Civil War around, this is another entry in the Oxford History of the United States, which I am enjoying immensely The preface had an interesting observation though this book covers the shortest span of all the books in the series albeit with some significant overlap , it s one of the longest books in the series The Civil War is the most written about period in American history simply because there s so much history in it, as it did mo Widely acclaimed as the best single volume history of the Civil War around, this is another entry in the Oxford History of the United States, which I am enjoying immensely The preface had an interesting observation though this book covers the shortest span of all the books in the series albeit with some significant overlap , it s one of the longest books in the series The Civil War is the most written about period in American history simply because there s so much history in it, as it didto turn a bunch of squabbling states into the United States than anything since 1789 McPherson doesn t even get to recounting the actual war until over a third of the way into the book as the country splits and splinters and tries and fails to resolve a vast number of contradictory pressures and choices about its future, and the Federalists nightmares about factions turned into reality Northerners vs Southerns, those who wanted to settle the West vs those who wanted to preserve the existing balance of the states, wets vs dries, immigrants vs nativists, Catholics vs Protestants, tariff supporters vs free traders, developers favoring Hamiltonian projects vs laissez faire adherents, plantation owners vs industrialists, rural folk vs urban dwellers, Democrats vs Whigs, Democrats vs Know Nothings, Democrats vs Republicans, war hawks vs doves, but most of all, slavery supporters vs abolitionists.It s a truism that in elementary school you learn that the Civil War was about slavery, in high school you learn that it was about states rights, and that in college you learn that actually it was still really about slavery McPherson completely demolishes the idea that it could have possibly been about anything other than the South s peculiar institution slavery was the bedrock of the South s economy, the keystone of its social structure, and the altar on which they convinced themselves that they were the highest, most advanced civilization on Earth McPherson somehow works that discussion smoothly into the book among a million other things, from advanced demographic analysis like his eye opening mythbusting of the rich man s war, poor man s fight canard , to the background political scheming that Lincoln had to overcome, to the shockingly large tolls that disease and poor sanitation took on each army, to the massive economic chasm opening between the modernizing North and the magnolia tinged South, and most especially, to the battles You can t really be interested in this greatest of all American wars if you re not fascinated by the senseless, bloody, magnificent meetings between two of the mightiest armies of the 19th century, and McPherson seemingly covers every cavalry raid and clash of picket lines It s an impressive feat, well worthy of its 1988 Pulitzer Prize, and though it s rare to describe a book as being the last word on a subject, surely even rarer is the reader who finishes this masterwork unsatisfied Embarking on reading or in this case rerereading McPherson s civil war at 800 plus pages feels like committing to refighting that four year conflict One feels the need of a logistics corps to support the reading effort at the front as the page counts mounts and mounts The book itself, particularly in a hardback incarnation, is virtually a civil war, it could be lobbed with hostile intent at a passerby, or laid on the ground to make a defensive position or strapped to the chest to protect the h Embarking on reading or in this case rerereading McPherson s civil war at 800 plus pages feels like committing to refighting that four year conflict One feels the need of a logistics corps to support the reading effort at the front as the page counts mounts and mounts The book itself, particularly in a hardback incarnation, is virtually a civil war, it could be lobbed with hostile intent at a passerby, or laid on the ground to make a defensive position or strapped to the chest to protect the heart from musket balls or sabre blows.McPherson paints a busy panorama, crowded with details finely drawn and occasionally even quotable, starting in the 1830s, going through the divergence in economic development in north and south suggesting at the end that it was the north with it industrialising and increasingly capitalist society which was exceptional while the South wasbroadly typical of mid nineteenth century societies in being agrarian and reliant on tied labour, the Mexican war, land grabbing adventures in Nicaragua, the collapse of the Whig party and sectional violence everywhere, muskets, swords and walking sticks taken up in anger As a reader there is a desire to kick back against this portentous handling which reads as though McPherson was writing with Wagner s Gotterdammarung playing in the background, Siegfried s death implying this conflict was inevitable, already perhaps in progress by other means long before Fort Sumter was fired upon This naturally leads to wanting him to just get on with things rather than continuing to set out his stall for several hundred pages The downside with this feeling of inevitability is that he then has to dismiss initial votes by Southern states against secession as merely conditional unionism or equally praise Lincoln and the Republicans refusal to negotiate after his election as a realistic course of action Perhaps, but these it seems to me are debatable points Ultimately he comes down strongly in favour of contingency pointing out the impact of victories and defeats in shifting public opinion and the sentiments and opinions of the major political actors.McPherson pulls out the role of race and attitudes about race, not simply white vs black, but even within whiteness Saxon vs Norman view spoiler in which reading the southerners were the gentle yet warlike descendants of the Normans, recognisable as the Cavaliers in the earlier English Civil War, while your Northerner was a rude mechanical hide spoiler and Irish , which I suppose is the inevitable result of creating a concept of fictive kinship to justify a social position, but still one wonders as in Williamsion s The Penguin History of Latin America, how one gets from such divisive thinking to a nation of liberty, equality and fraternity, or even if this can be done in a reasonable time frame say before the return of Jesus, the arrival of Maitreya Buddha view spoiler who in a rare piece of good news can apparently be ordered from a well known internet bookseller hide spoiler , or the emergence of the Mahdi, not that this is the topic in hand for this book, simply for society.McPherson discusses Unionism in Tennessee and West Virginia, divided sentiments in Kentucky and Missouri view spoiler which interestingly and probably significantly have tended to become farsupportive of the Confederacy since the end of the war than at the time a process which T.J.Styles describes beginning in Jesse James Last Rebel of the Civil War hide spoiler , mind you much of this is conjecture, just as after an election newspaper commentators explain the results, without actually asking people More significant perhaps then is McPherson s roll call of individuals like George Thomas, Admiral Farragut or Pemberton who didn t side with their state or place of birth Then again this whole issue of identity and identification was peculiarly intense possibly because anti bellum America was very mobile, many people had moved away from place of birth to settle and make a living in new developing regions elective affinities it seems are the fiercest of all.For McPherson this was a second American Revolution and one which saw the birth of a nation rather than an untidy agglomeration of states who grudgingly had admitted it would make good sense to work together to some limited extent in the wake of their treacherous rebellion from poor old George III.This account is not purely a muddy slog through an exceptionally violent conflict McPherson regularly points to battlesbloody than various combinations of other American conflicts but also shoots off to consider other issues, developing technologies, the role of the war in promoting the production of clothes in standardised sizes a regular feature of shopping that can be attributed to the need for uniforming hundreds of thousands of men without needing to tailor every shirt or pair of trousers The introduction of income tax, not only the existence of war bonds but how they were marketed and rendered affordable to a broad public, in the North Other elements of a Second Revolution included the creation of a transcontinental railway, a network of agricultural colleges, a Homestead Act to support the settlement of the West, the introduction of the greenback national paper currency and changes to the prevailing system of local banks issuing their own bank notes, eventually the thirteenth amendment, the Freedman s bureau view spoiler Freedwomen presumably had to just look out for each other hide spoiler , and moves towards universal male suffrage.Another theme is the disruptive effect of war, providing new opportunities for women who thanks to increasing mechanisation in the north at least could send off their sons to war confident they could still manage to bring in the hay, but also in industry and professionally, for immigrants, black people, and a host of middle aged men perhaps repressed by the structures and requirements of everyday life who got to have extravagant mid life crises and its hard for me not to think of the parade of civil war generals in that way, many of whom I struggle to imagine in civilian life outside of pantomime, apart from McCellan who to me fits perfectly with his Napoleonic pretensions as the prototypical rock star CEO that he had been of a Railway company.I get a sense of the overwhelming effort implicitly implied by the solid heft of this book required by the war in which both sides, having found themselves at war suddenly had to come up with the armies and logistics to fight it Originally units elected their own officers, prominent persons with political clout held high commands, it was for almost everyone a learn on the job type war, and those who had combat experience from the Mexican war found that bayonet charges against entrenchments were now unpleasantly fatal given significant improvements in fire power in the intervening years.There is emphasis and space given to the politics of the home front on both sides as well as the international diplomacy and espionage of which McPherson occasionally drops heavy hints ought in a just universe be the subject of many rollicking novels And also we are shown the shifts of opinion in Britain particularly, down to the debated attitude of Lancashire cotton workers towards the conflictAs a war, and whatever else is discussed here this is always the narrative history of a war, the American conflict seems to presage much which is still familiar total war, the strategic importance of logistics, mobilisation of entire populations, highly technical, mechanised warfare side by side with house to house neighbour on neighbour brutality, massed artillery barrages and scalping.The best one volume history of the American Civil War I couldn t say, however I don t see the need to search for another one, yet view spoiler footnotes and a bibliographic essay however shows the paths into the apparently endless ink wars that have raged over it ever since hide spoiler Being a young history buff, it took me 3 weeks and 3 days to read this That is, 3 weeks of contemplating reading it and proceeding to finish it in 3 days This book is undoubtedly the best 1 volume book on the war that divided and reunited America but ended some of our back then traditions such as slavery In other words, the Civil War It has a good balance of the battles such as Gettysburg and Antietam while it does discuss the social, political, and economic factors that also fueled the war Being a young history buff, it took me 3 weeks and 3 days to read this That is, 3 weeks of contemplating reading it and proceeding to finish it in 3 days This book is undoubtedly the best 1 volume book on the war that divided and reunited America but ended some of our back then traditions such as slavery In other words, the Civil War It has a good balance of the battles such as Gettysburg and Antietam while it does discuss the social, political, and economic factors that also fueled the war It starts off at the end of the Mexican American War and does so for the first 100 pages Then, it starts off on the attack on Fort Sumter and what happened the rest of the time during the Civil War McPherson s prose reads in the style of a novel It s a very easy read and also very enjoyable There are always other books on the subject that go in depth on different aspects such as the battles or the figures, but if you want a general overview of the Civil War from its origins to its aftermath, this is THE book It is reported that there are 15,000 books on the Civil War in the Library of Congress, so the natural question is where do you start Further, Most of the seminal Civil War works are volumes and thousands of pages Well in 850 pages, McPherson provides succint, yet thorough historical writing of the highest caliber It unmuddies the waters as to the reasons for the country s schism and the start of the war and provides the necessary level of detail as to the prosecution of the war without It is reported that there are 15,000 books on the Civil War in the Library of Congress, so the natural question is where do you start Further, Most of the seminal Civil War works are volumes and thousands of pages Well in 850 pages, McPherson provides succint, yet thorough historical writing of the highest caliber It unmuddies the waters as to the reasons for the country s schism and the start of the war and provides the necessary level of detail as to the prosecution of the war without going inot excruciating detail about troop movements and the like Perhaps the most remarkable piece of the book was the eiplogue in which McPherson presents an interesting point about America s notions of liberty and freedom Whereas before the Civil War the nation was intent on keeping Americans free from things, the Civil War represented a shift in that the government was now thought of as a agent that gave people freedom to things

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